Back The Via Flaminia, the Via Lauretana and the Via Salaria

The Via Flaminia, the Via Lauretana and the Via Salaria

The routes of faith in the Marches follow three main roads, on which abbeys, Franciscan hermitages and sanctuaries are marked.

The Via Flaminia and its variations run through the valley dotted with abbeys that, from Ancona, follow the River Esino towards Rome. Senigallia is where Pope Pius IX was born, while Corinaldo is the land of St. Maria Goretti.
The Via Lauretana and its side roads, which from the Santa Casa at Loreto, a centre of pilgrimage since the 15th century, leads to the Romanesque route along the valley of the Chienti, the Basilica of San Nicola da Tolentino, at Tolentino, and the 16th-century Sanctuary of Macereto, surrounded by the splendid peaks of the Monti Sibillini.

Finally, there is the Via Salaria and its off-shoots, Grottammare, the birthplace of Pope Sixtus V, with the fascinating town of Ripatransone nearby; Monteprandone, whence came Saint James della Marca; and the area where the Benedictines from Farfa settled. The whole of this area, from Fermo and Ascoli Piceno to the Monti Sibillini National Park, is rich in Romanesque buildings, hermitages, abbeys and sanctuaries.

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Level of difficulty: media
Target: Trekking
Seasonality: Estate

The stages of the itinerary

  • Fano - Hermitage of Monte Giove
    .0721.864090 (Foresteria)
    The stage includes the following destinations: Eremo e Monastero di Monte Giove
    The Hermitage of Monte Giove rise up on a top of hill of the same name (223 m.), about two miles from Fano city centre; it was built in the first two decades of the 17th century by Camaldolese Congregation of Monte Corona. The convent was completed in 1627, thanks to many benefactors such as the municipality of Fano. The Hermitage soon gained popularity and was visited by the Queen Cristina Alessandra Maria of Sweden in 1657. In 1741, due to the instability of the land, the church was rebuilt, under the project of architect Gian Francesco Buonamici.
    The present church, dedicated to the Saviour, is a typically eighteenth century church with one nave, decorated with frescoes and different paintings. One of the chapels was decorated by Tarcisio Generali, who was a Camaldolese monk and talented artist. In the crypt there's the "Trasfigurazione", a terracotta work made by the Camaldolese monk Salvatore Frigerio. 
    The Hermitage, currently inhabited by seven monks and a nun, features a library with 1,000 volumes, a sacristy boasting original 18th century furniture, a pharmacy and a guest house, which can accommodate up to 30 people, in single and double rooms, for a maximum stay of one week. During the year there are religious meetings and study days on theology.

    The Hermitage of Monte Giove joins the projects  the Monasteries of the Marche.
  • Acqualagna - Abbey of San Vincenzo al Furlo
    0721.796741 (Ufficio turismo C
    The stage includes the following destinations: Abbazia di S. Vincenzo al Furlo

    Set in the wonderful scenery of the Furlo Gorge Nature Riserve, in Acqualagna, the white truffle capital of Italy, the abbey was built in memory of Saint Vincent, Bishop of Bevagna. Its position close to one of the most beautiful Apennine passes makes the abbey all the more attractive for the scenery which surrounds it.

    The origins of the abbey are uncertain. Early fortified remains suggest that it may have been founded as early as the 6th Century, though other evidence dates it back to the 10th Century. Frescoes from Marche painters dating back to the 15th and 16th century are still visible on the walls of the church.

    The façade of the church is hut- shaped: at the centre you can see a portal with a round arch and a lunette and above a wide single lancet window. The roof is ribbed, it’s mainly vaulted and partly trussed.

    On the right hand side there was a monastery. The whole complex was built using carnelian stones coming from local quarries, whereas very large and thick slabs of stones of Roman and Early Christian origins were used for the church floor. The presbytery is raised, a narrow staircase is at the centre and at the sides there are two arched openings leading to the crypt. The latter dates back to the 10th century and is divided into three parts by six columns of different diameters. Inside the crypt  you can see the little apse which belonged to the right aisle. It’s clearly visible from the outside, as it’s placed next to the main one.

  • La terra di Santa Maria Goretti
    The stage includes the following destinations: La terra di Santa Maria Goretti

    St. Maria Goretti was born in Corinth, a small village in the province of Ancona, October 16, 1890. She was born on the eastern side of Italy to a farming family, but increased poverty forced the family to move to the western side of the country when she was only six. Her father died when she was nine, and the family had to share a house with another family, the Serenellis. Maria took over household duties from her mother, while her mother and the rest of her family worked in the fields. One afternoon, Alessandro, the son of the Serenelli family, made sexual advances to her, but when she refused to submit to him because that would be a mortal sin, he stabbed her multiple times. She was taken to hospital, but died after forgiving him. He was promptly arrested, convicted and jailed. After three years he repented, and when eventually released from prison, he visited her mother begging forgiveness, which she readily granted. He later became a lay brother in a monastery, eventually dying peacefully in 1970.

    Maria was beatified in 1947, and canonized in 1950. Her mother attended both ceremonies.

  • San Lorenzo in Campo - Abbey of St. Lorenzo
    0721.776825 (parroco) - 0721.7
    The stage includes the following destinations: Abbazia di S. Lorenzo

    This abbey is one of the most important buildings in Romanesque and Gothic style in the Marche. It was bacame a basilica in 1943 by Pope Pio XII. The pleasant town of San Lorenzo in Campo was named after the abbey which was founded in the early Middle Ages by Benedictine monks and which was built using materials from the destroyed nearby Roman town of Suasa Senonum

    The abbey was dedicated to St. Lawrence, martyr in Rome. They were hard working monks who cultivated their land and also spent large part of the day praying. Ora et labora (Pray and work) was their motto.  The abbey, together with the wide surrounding area which also belonged to it and which was probably covered by woods, had a long history as an independent territory right up to the 19th century. Among its various commendatory abbots was Giuliano Della Rovere, who later became Pope Julius II. It 'a majestic Romanesque-Gothic building with a nave and two aisles. The middle part is the oldest one, as it was built between the 7th and 9th centuries. Of great importance is the high altar for its rare and precious marbles. Under the high altar is a beautiful crypt excavated in 1940. The arches are supported by columns of grey granite coming from Egypt. Among the works of art worth mentioning are the two wooden crosses by the monk Fra Innocenzo da Petralia and Damiano d’Assisi), a canvas by Ramazzani from Arcevia (1535) representing “Madonna and Saints” and the canvas representing “St. Demetrius and St. Lawrence”.

  • Senigallia- Pious IX and Senigallia
    071.7922725 IAT (IAT)
    The stage includes the following destinations: Beato Pio IX e Senigallia

    Pious IX (Giovanni Maria Mastai Ferretti) was born in Senigallia on 13th May 1792. He became pope in 1846.

    He proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception and convened the First Vatican Council in 1869. In 1848 he granted the Constitution and allowed his army to participate at the earliest stages of the War of Independence against Austria.

    After the constitution of the Roman Republic in 1848, he was sent into exile in Gaeta, but returned to Rome in 1850 where he gave rise to an intense rebirth of the Church. He died on February 7, 1878. He’s been declared Blessed in the Jubilee Year 2000. In Senigallia you can visit the museum named after him and the Diocesan Library' Mastai Ferretti 'with a section of more than a thousand volumes dedicated to him and published from 1800 onwards.

  • Chiaravalle - Abbey di S. Maria in Castagnola
    071.94350 (abbazia)
    The stage includes the following destinations: Abbazia di S. Maria in Castagnola

    The first abbey was built  in Chiaravalle as early  as 7th century  in the shape of a simple Benedictine monastery raised in a land given as a gift to the pope by Teodolinda, a Lombard queen.  It was then destroyed in 1126 by the Saracens  and rebuilt by Cistercian monks, who named it S. Maria in Castagnola. This is one of the three abbeys, built by the Cistercian monks from Clairvoux in Italy. The second one is in the Marche, in the Fiastra nature reserve.

    The earliest two documents referring to the abbey date back to the year 1000. At that time the old structure was founded in Romanesque style. The modern structure was built , according to tradition, in 1172 by Cistercian monks, using the remains of the previous building.

    In 1248 about 40 monks lived in the abbey.  The monastery complex was so large and important that  the free municipality of Jesi and later on of Ancona tried to conquer it. The cloister and the other rooms of the abbey have been renovated in the late 16th century.

    The church of the abbey, in particular, is a remarkable example of Cistercian architecture:  a nave and two aisles, a transept and a square apse. The Romanesque façade has a gable roof and a large rose window with a single lancet window above and a pinnacled  gable end, above which there’s a stripe of small arches.

    With respect of Cistercian rules, the monastery was located to the south of the church and in this area you could also find common rooms, whereas to the east there were the choir and to the west the storage rooms.

    Inside the abbey a precious sculpture in polychrome stone dating back to the 12th century represents the Madonna with Child.

    You may expect to find such a place in a isolated and lonely place, instead it’s right in the middle of the little town, with a green area in front of it.

    Chiaravalle was named after this abbey which promoted its birth and expansion in the last centuries, so it’s its historical memory  and central core.


  • Jesi - Abbey of Santa Maria del Piano
    0731.58636 (parrocchia) 0731.5
    The stage includes the following destinations: Abbazia Santa Maria del Piano

    A few historical documents are left of this abbey: for sure it had many possessions and they extended from the valley of the Misa river to the valley of the Musone river. In 1211 its decadence started as the abbey was subjected to the municipality of Jesi. It was built in the area between Jesi and the Esino river, where you can still see the abbey in the renovated 18th century shape. There are still some characteristics of the previous buildings.  

    In the modern building different constructive phases can be distinguished. They date back to the 12th century, to the 13th century and to a previous upper Medieval phase. Some arches to the right wall of the presbytery  date back to the 12th century, as well as a fragment of a fresco representing the head of an angel which was found under a octaganal pillar during the recent renovation works. The crypt is very interesting; for a very long time it was covered as it was a burial place for parish priests and it’s been brought to the surface only recently. A very  nice sarcophagus dating back to the 8th century is preserved there.  

  • Abbazia di S. Maria delle Moie
    0731.700005 (Casa parrocchiale
    The stage includes the following destinations: Abbazia di S. Maria delle Moie

    The Romanesque abbey of Santa Maria delle Moie was probably founded at the beginning of the 11th century by the Attoni-Alberoni-Gozoni family as a private monastery. The abbey was named after the marshes  (moja) where it was built near the Esino river.

    It’s composed of a church and a front part. It’s been built using regular blocks of limestone and the plan is a typical Greek cross inscribed within a square and it reminds us of the shape of the abbey of San Vittore in Genga, as it’s formed by five apses, three of which face eastwards  and two at the sides. Architecturally, there’s a very original solution in the median nave, which is higher and barrel- vaulted, whereas the small naves are cross- vaulted. In the outer part, the portal decorations are very interesting whereas only the base is left of the cylindrical belfry placed to the left side of the entrance.

    The outer part of the portal has been completely renovated and in its upper part there are some vaults resting on pillars and half- columns at the sides with decorative themes. There are only two areas in the monastery: a rectangular one with barrel vault whose staircase leads to a underground room; the other one communicates with the first one, it can be reached through a courtyard, it has a quadrilateral plan and is cross-vaulted.

  • Serra San Quirico - Abbey of Sant’Elena
    0731.814730 oppure 330.912617
    The stage includes the following destinations: Abbazia di Sant’Elena
    The Abbey of Sant'Elena is situated in Serra San Quirico, near Sasso area.
    Founded in 1005 by St. Romuald, in 1180 it joined the Camaldolese Congregation. At that time was very prosperous the abbey was however established institution with a significant economic and social development. In the twelfth century it boasted the possession of about 50 churches and 10 buildings between castles and villas with all related assets. The church was renovated at the end of the century. XII. The mid-fifteenth century, Pope Innocent VIII to spare her Congregation Camaldolese, appointing a commendatory abbot, Cardinal Giovanni Colonna. On April 6, 1816, the last commendatory abbot of St. Helena, ceded in perpetual lease l 'Abbey with all related goods to Pianesi family, who later became the legitimate owner. The church is built of irregular sandstone blocks; has a slender facade with a bell tower and a beautiful portal splayed half-columns, topped by a bezel that shows a apicata cross between two lions in bas-relief. E 'with three naves; the central one is more than twice as large than the side but rises to the same height as the others, so as to give all'invaso looks like a hall church, "a gradinature". The presbytery, raised over the crypt, conserves the apse the canvas depicting St. Helena and the Cross, a work of Pomarancio. The abbey sculptural apparatus consists essentially in the capitals of the crypt, in those of the nave pillars and nell'ornato portal. We can distinguish two types of capitals: those storied, with patterns drawn from the universe of medieval bestiary (lions, dragons, mermaids) and the repertoire of the Christian holy figures; those antiqued offering various interpretations of the typology of the Corinthian capital.
    In the old monastery, now used for ceremonies, conferences, catering and receptions, are the vaulted halls bricks, now cruising barrel now, with stone walls. Among them the oldest dates back to the 'eleventh century and has a vaulted ceiling and the floor in large slabs of stone. Apparently was the first settlement of the Abbey. the garden and the courtyard adjacent to the Church have been restored with a 'work of preservation and renovation.

    According to the tradition, the abbey was founded by San Romualdo between 1005 and 1009, and it is located downstream of Serra S. Quirico, along the Esino river. Already in the twelfth century, this could be considered the most important monastery of Vallesina, with estates in the areas of Senigallia, Camerino and Osimo.
    Sant’Elena is a vast Romanesque-Gothic building, which belonged to the "camaldolese" order, which looks almost like a fortress. Its present appearance dates 1212, as a tombstone in the chancel witnesses. It has a high facade with a bell tower and a portal in stone, with geometrical motifs and animals in bas-relief.
    The exceptionally austere interior is still intact, with three naves divided by six high and mighty pillars. Magnificent capitals of different shape adorn them, rich of a repertoire made of geometric symbols, human figures and a medieval bestiary among the most evocative of the Marche region.
  • Genga - Abbey of St. Vittore
    0732.90055 (Parroco) 0732.9730
    The stage includes the following destinations: Abbazia di San Vittore delle Chiuse
    It’s the most important Benedictine Monastery of our territory. Church and monastery rose in the last decade of 10th century from the initiative of a society of secular vassals, who, in the early decades of the following century rendered it autonomous. It reached the main importance and power in 13th century, when governed more than forty churches, feudal castles, land properties, in the territory of Fabriano, Genga, Sassoferrato, Roccacontrada.
    The church, after the restructuring of this century, appears as a genuine Romanesque building, which recalls palaeochristian architectonic particulars, as well as Lombard and Byzantine. It is perhaps the most important Romanesque building of Marches, two steps from the popular Frasassi. The walls are made of travertine bricks and mixed materials; the plant is admirably simple, geometrically harmonious, the dome is elegant and slender.
  • Apiro - Abbey of Sant’Urbano
    0731 816222
    The stage includes the following destinations: Abbazia di S. Urbano sull'Esinante

    The Sant’Urbano abbey, named after the patron saint of the town, is a few kilometers far from Apiro, a hilly village near the Mount San Vicino and Mount Canfaito Nature Riserve.

    The first written information about the abbey goes back to the 11th century. Struggling against  the neighbouring Apiro, it was an important centre of religious and political power until 1442 when it joined with the Abbey of San Salvatore in Valdicastro in Fabriano and later became private property in 1810. The building underwent various refurbishments which modified the original layout. The recent superimposition of farmhouses has changed the external appearance of the church and the right side, whilst the left side and the fascinating apse retain the original columns and hanging arches. Only the central part of the facade with its carved portal and structural fanlight is preserved. It is extraordinary example of Romanesque architecture; its external shape shows the three amazing apsis, corresponding to the three naves. Inside the church is one of the few still keeping
    the three different parts of the Romanic architecture: the aula, dedicated to people, the presbytery, much higher and in gothic style, reserved for the monks, almost a church inside the church, and finally the crypt accessible through a narrow stair. On the first light of the 25th of May, day of patron Saint Urbano, a lighting ray entering by a hole above the apsis, shines through the darkness and perfectly enlighten a circle engraved in the stone of the wall on the left side of the entrance.


  • Fabriano - Hermitage of San Silvestro
    The stage includes the following destinations: Monastero ed Eremo di San Silvestro
    The Hermitage of San Silvestro in Montefano of Fabriano was founded by San Silvestro Guzzolini in 1231 near the fount Vembrici; new monastic order was called Sylvestrine Congregation. After the suppression of the religious orders in 1810 in 1866, the hermitage becomes the spiritual center of the Sylvestrine Congregation. In the church we must mention a painting made by Claudio Ridolfi (1644) and  four gilded wooden statues dating back to the seventeenth century. The relics of San Silvestro are kept in a modern urn. The lower church, built in the thirteenth century, is dedicated to San Benedetto. The 24 lunettes decorating the walls of the cloister of the monastery are frescoed by Antonio Ungarini from  Fabriano (1771) and represent scenes of San Silvestro's life. Monte Fano currently houses a dynamic monastic community ; the hermitage features an efficient laboratory of restoration of old books, an historical library  boasting 70,000 volumes, the historical archives of the Sylvestrine Congregation and a guesthouse. In a wing of the former college there are 30 comfortable rooms with a view. The monastic community welcomes small groups all year round, for retreat day with a monk.
    The Hermitage os San Silvestro joins the projects The monasteries of Marche.
  • Fabriano - Abbey of S. Biagio in Caprile
    0732.259466 Monaci Benedettini
    The stage includes the following destinations: Abbazia di S. Biagio in Caprile

    The abbey of San Biagio in Caprile was founded in Fabriano around 1030 by the Counts of Nocera and Gualdo who at that time ruled together the valley of Salmaregia. In 1060, due to a lack of monks, it passed under the rule of St. Mary of the Apennines that sent a small religious community. In 1443 a fire destroyed it together with the whole file archive. Being the building without monks, Pope Eugene IV passed it to the Sylvestrine Congregation.  In 1665 it was elevated to main abbey and in 1810 it was sold to private owners. Today all that remains of the ancient abbey is the church with a rectangular plan, once decorated with the famous frescoes by the anonymous master of St. Biagio in Caprile (now visible in Urbino, Galleria Nazionale delle Marche), whereas the monastic buildings built around the cloister were destroyed. Inside the abbey a youth hostel has been opened after some renovation works that have been carried out due to earthquakes. It’s a cheap tourist accommodation that is suitable also for pilgrims.

    Tourism in Fabriano

  • The Sanctuary of Loreto Holy House
    The stage includes the following destinations: La Basilica della Santa Casa

    Loreto, a small town of Ancona Province, is known all over the world for its Sanctuary that makes it one of the most important places of pilgrimage and pray for the Catholics, together with Medjugorje and Lourdes. The believers go to Loreto to give prays of devotion to the ruins of the Holy House where Jesus lived in Nazareth. On the basis of a former ancient tradition and latter historical and archeological researches, it is confirmed indeed that the Loreto Sanctuary keeps the Nazarene House of Mary; according to tradition, when in 1921 the crusaders were driven from Palestine out, the walls of the house of Mary were brought first to Illyria (to Tersatto, the present Croatia) and then to Loreto (10 December 1294).

    Inside the Sanctuary you will admire: The Dome – The Crucifix Chapel – the French Chapel or Sacrament’s – the Slavic Chapel or Cirillo and Metodio Saints – the Our Lady of the Assumption Chapel or American’s – the Choir Chapel or German’s – the Sacred Heart Chapel or Polish’s – the St John Sacristy or Signorelli’s – the Urbino Dukes Chapel – the St Joseph Chapel or Spanish’s – the Swiss Chapel or Gioacchino and Ann Saints – St Mark Sacristy or Melozzo’s – the side Chapels –the Treasure Room or Pomarancio’s.

    The square outside the Sanctuary ends in the northern and western sides with the Apostles Palace, in the eastern side with the front of the Basilica, and in the southern side with the Illyrian Palace; on you r left hand you will admire the Bell Tower drawn by Luigi Vanvitelli; instead, in the middle there is the Fountain by Carlo Maderno and Giovanni Fontana.
    We have to mention the impressive Basilica of Loreto Dome built in the octagonal drum, up to the eaves by Giuliano da Maiano; it was vaulted by Giuliano da Sangallo in only eight months, from September 1499 to May 1500.

    “The Loreto Holy House is the first Sanctuary of International importance dedicated to the Virgin and the true Marian heart of Christianity”. (Pope John Paul II)

  • Basilica of Saint Nicholas of Tolentino
    The stage includes the following destinations: La Basilica di San Nicola

    The Basilica of Saint Nicholas of Tolentino is one of the most important sanctuaries of central Italy.
    St. Nicholas of Tolentino (1245-1305) was an Augustinian friar, miracle worker and great preacher. He lived in the convent of the Hermit Friars of St. Augustine in the city, from 1275 until his death. He reached such a high notoriety during his life, especially for his extraordinary miracle working powers, that he was venerated and canonized in a short time (1325). St. Nicholas is venerated as the patron saint of the souls in purgatory and the protector of motherhood and childhood difficulties.
    The basilica was consecrated in 1465. The interior is a rectangular nave with a polygonal apse. 

    The coffered wooden ceiling and eight chapels date back to the 17th century. It preserves important works of art (S. Anna by Guercino, S. Tommaso da Villanova by G. Ghezzi). The great 17th century chapel of the Holy Sacrament, topped by a cupola, is on the left of the altar. The arms of St. Nicholas are preserved in the Chapel of the Holy Arms (Sante Braccia). An attempt at theft was made after the saint's death, but failed because the amputated arms began to gush blood. The miraculous event is represented in the painting by G. Foschi near the high altar. Two large paintings are preserved in the chapel, ex-voto offerings, “L’incendio del Palazzo Ducale a Venezia” by Matteo Stom and "La Peste a Genova” (or in Venice, according to some) by Giovanni Carboncino. 

    Of particular value is the Cappellone (Chapel) whose frescoes painted by artists from Rimini (Pietro, Giuliano and Giovanni Baronzio) of the Giotto school, are the highest examples of 14th century painting in the Marche. The chapel floor plan is rectangular and has a cross vault. A Renaissance marble arch, with the statue of St. Nicholas above it, is in the centre of the Chapel. The Museum of the Basilica, that can be reached by staircase, houses numerous paintings and sculptures, precious ceramics, offerings and permanent Nativity exhibitions. The cloister is considered to be one of the most interesting in the Marche. Here the Saint's cell is found, now converted into the oratory of the Augustinian community that still preserves two early 16 th century frescoed lunettes, representing episodes of the saint’s life.

    Due to the earthquake occurred in 2016, the basilica is temporarily closed. Nevertheless you can visit a room where the urn of the Saint has been placed. 

  • Visso - Sanctuary of Macereto
    0737 9264 ; 339 2027814
    The stage includes the following destinations: Santuario di Santa Maria di Macereto

    The Sanctuary of Macereto is on the homonymous plateau of Macereto, near Visso, in the Sibillini mountains, and it’s an extraordinary example of Renaissance architecture in the Marche. People say that in the past miracles took place here so it became a place of widespread popular devotion.

    It was built in 1529 by Giovan Battista da Lugano , although the original plan was most probably by Bramante, and it replaced the previous church erected in the year 1359. The construction was suspended when Lugano died and started again in 1553 under the guidance of Filippo Salvi da Bissone and finished in 1556.

    The magnificent Sanctuary, covered in travertine, has an octagonal plan with the external structures on three sides in correspondence to the three entrances to the church.

    The inner church plan is in the form of a Greek cross with four wings, each of them ending in four apses with niches. In the middle of the temple stands the ancient chapel that was covered in stone in 1585-1590.

    In the apse of the main altar there’s a very nice chapel with stucco decorations and statues, and most notably, some artworks by Simone de Magistris painted from 1580-1582: the “Birth of Christ”, “The Worship of the Magi”, “The descent of the Holy Spirit”, the “Circumcision”, la “Nativity of the Virgin Mary”, and the “Flight to Egypt”.

    The Sanctuary is currently damaged due to earthquake 2016. Some parts of the monument have been fenced.

  • Monteprandone - S. Giacomo della Marca
    The stage includes the following destinations: Santuario Santa Maria delle Grazie e San Giacomo della Marca
    San Giacomo della Marca, whose real name was Domenico Gangale, was born in Monteprandone, in the province of Ascoli Piceno, on 1st September 1393. During his youth, he studied in Ascoli Piceno and later in Perugia, where he graduated in civil and ecclesiastical law. He practiced first as a notary in Florence and later as a judge in Bibbiena, but the environment of the courts of justice, far from his spiritual aspirations, led him to leave the judicial world and enter the convent of Santa Maria degli Angeli in Assisi .On 13th June 1420, he was ordained priest and soon distinguished himself for the effectiveness of his sermons that attracted many pilgrims in every place he went. The preaching of St. James, which treated the basic themes of the Christian faith, spread against heretical groups, mainly the Fraticelli, who repeatedly attempted against his life. Pope Eugene IV gave him special assignments for preaching against heresy over the Adriatic and for diplomatic missions in Central and Eastern Europe.He was a staunch supporter of the Crusades and, thanks to his intervention as a peacemaker, the cities of Fermo and Ascoli, eternal enemies, made two historical reconciliations between them in 1446 and then in 1463. In the same year, he solved once again a question about the border between Monteprandone and Acquaviva. The Saint strove to give Civil Statutes to eleven cities and created pawnshops, to fight usury. He wrote eighteen books and he instituted, in the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie, which he founded, a rich library for religious education and for those who loves learning. He died in Naples on 28th November 1476. His body was buried in the church of Santa Maria la Nova in Naples.
  • Grottammare - Sistine Museum - Piceno Sistine Musems
    347 3804444
    The stage includes the following destinations: Museo Sistino

    Until 2002, the museum was located in the Saint Augustine Church in Grottammare, but today it is situated in the Saint John the Baptiste Church, which hosts the original collection. The museum is part of the the Diocese of San Benedetto del Tronto, Ripatransone and Montalto Marche, shows objects about the relationship between Pope Sixtus V( who was born in Grottammare) and his birthplace.

  • Museo del Santuario di San Giacomo
    The stage includes the following destinations: Museo del Santuario di San Giacomo
  • Ripatransone - Museums Sistini of the Piceno
    0735 99301
    The stage includes the following destinations: Museo Vescovile
    The Piceno territory surprises it's visitors for the quality & quantities of its immense of wealth. Art and nature are in perfect symbiosis. A rich land for Popes and Saints that were born; the most importante one is Pope Sisto V ( 1520-1590) borned at Montalto Marche, a Pope that revolutioned the urbanistic system in Rome. He erected the lateranesi buildings realized the vaticana library and a lot of other monuments. Personality of extreme importance that reflects in the artistic patrimony of the Piceno. An unique wealth that doesn't have caparisons elsewhere.
    Centuries of peaceful and hard-working life have allowed an accumulation of rare artistic objects of art: shrine and wine glasses, hanging and furnishings, altar pales and clothes, statues and medals that today can be admired in the diffused eight museums of sacred art on the diocesan territory, including that of Ripatransone, so that to be able to visit the various urban centers with their treasures, that have been returned to the communuties that they have taken cared for centuries.
  • Ascoli Piceno - Sanctuary of Sant'Emidio alle Grotte
    334 3565078 (Giuseppe) 328 324
    The stage includes the following destinations: Santuario di Sant'Emidio alle Grotte

    The unique and evocative sanctuary of St. Emidius alle Grotte is a magnificent example of religious Baroque art in the Marche. It’s called “ alle grotte” because it’s placed against the caves of the old Christian necropolis.

    It’s set apart from the town and it’s surrounded by vegetation and silence.

    People say that St. Emidius himself brought here miraculously his decapitated head in order to be buried here.

    This site was rediscovered in 1721 as the people from Ascoli Piceno wanted to thank their patron saint for the protection allowed during the earthquake of the year 1703. The most famous local architect of that time, Giuseppe Giosafatti, projected the little temple: he unearthed the pre- Christian caves by partially demolishing the stone wall and he added a finely carved travertine façade to it.

  • Ascoli Piceno - Cathedral of Saint Emidius
    The stage includes the following destinations: Cattedrale di Sant'Emidio e Polittico di Carlo Crivelli

    On one side of central Piazza Arringo is the "Cathedral of Saint Emidius".

    The cathedral underwent many adaptations between the eighth and sixteenth centuries. The first building actually dates back to the fourth or fifth century, according to some on the site of the Roman forum or on an building existing in Roman times, perhaps dedicated to Hercules or to the Muses.

    Some archaeological finds unearthed between 1882 and 1883 show that the cathedral was built using the remains of the civil basilica of the Roman Forum, still visible in the older parts of the building as the transept, the part of the apses and the dome from the end of the eighth or early ninth century.

    The facade, built between 1529 and 1539 , was designed by Cola dell'Amatrice, has only one architectural style and a central main entrance to the cathedral.

    Two Romanesque travertine towers rise at the edge of the facade while the Renaissance Door of the Muse is situated at the side; it’s named from an epigraph on its outside wall.

    In the interior there are extraordinary works of art; it’s in the shape of a Latin cross and in Romanesque- Gothic style; it’s divided into a nave and two aisles and in the crypt below St. Emidio’s corpse is kept. In the Sacrament Chapel, above the altar  where a valuable sixteenth-century tabernacle in gilded wood and a painting of uncertain origin are placed, there’s the splendid polyptych by Carlo Crivelli, one of the few works of art that weren’t pillaged by Napoleon’s troops and that weren’t sold during the nineteenth-century. 

    It’s one of the very few works of art by the Venetian master which has preserved intact all of its parts, including the complex frame. Crivelli masterfully represents the Virgin with saints and apostles. The Virgin sits on a throne decorated with precious marble and with the characteristic fruit festoon having rich symbolic meanings. With great virtuosity he also paints the cope and the crosier of Saint Emidius, the patron saint of Ascoli Piceno to whom the cathedral is also dedicated.

    The cathedral will be opened again at Easter 2017 and in the following week. Then it will be probably open every day.

  • Ascoli Piceno- The hermitage of St. Mark
    0736 298334 (Ufficio turistico
    The stage includes the following destinations: Eremo di S. Marco
    The hermitage of St. Mark is in southern Ascoli Piceno. The religious buiding clings to the rock surface of San Marco Hill, near the hamlet Piagge, in the Montagna dei Fiori (Flower Mountain).
    This place, characterized by forests, pastures and difficult paths, was chosen by Cistercian monks who, in the search of silence and solitude for their spiritual life, settled here at the beginning of the 13th century.
    Besides, in compliance with the rule of essentiality of the Order, they built a simple hermitage and dedicated it to St. Mark. It was raised using as a basis a wide rock ledge, topped by a huge natural cave that opened in the middle of the boulder and access was possible thanks to a narrow gorge.
    Visible from Piazza del Popolo, it was built using roughly squared blocks of travertine and it’s possible to get to it through a mighty stone staircase, that, like a bridge, spans the deep ravine. Its front is made up of two adjacent buildings, i.e. the bell tower on the left and the facade divided horizontally by a double row of mullioned windows vertically divided by a capital in the central column.
    Between the late fourteenth and early fifteenth century, the monastic life declined, going into crisis.
  • Acquasanta Terme - Abbey of San Benedetto in Valledacqua
    0736.801262 (Comune)
    The stage includes the following destinations: Monastero di San Benedetto in Valledacqua

    The Monastery of San Benedetto in Valledacqua is situated in a hill, pretty close to the National Park of Sibillini Mountains and the National Park of Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga ; it dates back to 970 a.d.; the frescoes on some walls retain the original architecture. It was completely restored in 2002 by Ascoli Piceno's Curia and the Ministry of Culture in 2002 ; it now houses a community of Camaldolesi Nuns. The simple facade has a  thirteenth century sail shaped tower. The monastery includes a guesthouse, with a total capacity of 38 rooms; it is open all around the year and welcomes those who wish to share the experience of prayer and liturgy with the nuns in a peaceful atmosphere.